Southernhay fire leaves Exeter based charity homeless
A national charity has been left in a “dreadful position” after a fire in Exeter’s Southernhay this morning severely damaged their head office.
Surf Live Saving GB have been left without an office and due to structural damage it could be months before the charity can move back in.
It is also reported that because of a clause in the charity’s insurance they are not able to claim for expenses incurred for the loss of their business premises.
Esther Pearson, CEO for the charity, said: “From that office we run all our operations for 70 clubs and 6,000 members all over the country.
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“The smoke and fire damage to the ground floor, and potential structural damage, was so extensive we have been told it could be months and months before we’ll be back in.
The fire is believed to have started at Pertemps Recruitment and ripped through the basement and ground floor.
All four stories of the building have suffered smoke damage and heat across the ground floor has caused a front window to smash (see image).
Mrs Pearson said there was a layer of soot covering the office, adding:
“We’re in a dreadful position,” she continued. “Our landlords are trying to find us someone for the medium term, but we need somewhere to go for the immediate few weeks. And none of the costs of relocating are covered.”
The charity has estimated that around £5,000 is needed and is appealing for donations to help them cover the costs of moving premises and re-instating their communication equipment.
Offers of practical help would also be appreciated.
“We have very little reserves, we reinvest everything we have into our programmes for young people and training life guards, so we don’t have money in the bank for this.”
30-35 firefighters dealt with the incident and investigators are currently looking into the cause of the blaze.